Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Duplicate Workbooks Opening.

Duplicate Workbooks Opening

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 22, 2020)

5

Joan has a problem with one of her Excel workbooks: When she opens it, Excel always "replicates" the workbook. Once opened, Joan reports that she has two workbooks showing in the task bar. Both contain the proper workbook name, but one is followed by a 1 and the other followed by a 2.

Believe it or not, this problem is actually a feature of Excel. What you are seeing is two windows, both open on the same workbook. Excel allows you to create multiple windows on the same workbook by displaying the View tab of the ribbon and clicking the New Window tool. Each new window has the same name, except they have a suffix consisting of a colon and a number that indicates the window number (1, 2, 3, etc.).

When you save a workbook that has multiple windows, the next time you open the workbook it will display the same number of windows. If you want to get rid of some of the windows, you need to close them. You do this by clicking the Close Window control. (This is the X at the upper-right corner of the worksheet, not at the upper-right of the program window. It is black, not red, although it should be just below the red X. If you hover the mouse pointer over it, you'll see the ToolTip "Close Window" appear.)

Once you close any windows you don't want, save the workbook again. The next time you open it, you should see only a single window.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11470) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Duplicate Workbooks Opening.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is 2 - 2?

2020-03-05 18:31:42

Martin

I am using Office 365 excel and to get rid of the extra window(s) you have to close each window as you would normally close a program by clicking on the X at the upper right. When there is only one window left it won't have the window number anymore beside the filename at the top of the window. Save the file now, even if there has been no other changes, it should save. Next time the spreadsheet is opened it will only open with one window.
You can also hide and unhide extra windows if you use the multiple windows often but just want to have to close one window instead of a bunch to close the program. When the extra windows are hidden you don't have to individually close them.


2020-01-22 09:21:38

Frank

I was checking out this tip which was sent via email today (2020-01-22) as "ExcelTips Daily Nugget: Duplicate Workbooks Opening." I opened a workbook, did the New Window, then saved and closed, and sure enough when I re-opened both windows came up. However, I didn't see any separate "Close Window" control as described in the tip, I just closed the one of the two windows with the usual X in the upper right corner, saved and closed the remaining window, and when I re-opened it had just one window again as described. I notice this tip was last updated in 2016 so I'm thinking maybe the behavior with the current Office 365 is slightly different than what it was back then. Anyways, this is a great thing to know about when I want to display info side-by-side in the same workbook (or maybe to mess with a co-worker when I find a spreadsheet opened on their desktop unattended... B^) Thanks!


2018-05-28 10:03:57

Ben

I don't know if this is the right place to send this, but I need help, Can anyone tell me how to fix the problem of two windows opening every time I open a single worksheet one inside another in Excel 2000? I will try to include a picture, however I am not an expert, just trying to solve this problem Thanks.. (fig)


2016-12-02 12:58:36

Richard A

I use Excel 2013

I had the same problem, I open the main file which opens a different file side by side on the same screen, the main file was appending :1, :2 even :3 and certain macros would not work, like closing Both programs. I copied a macro from a web site to open 2 workbooks side by side, I ran workbook_open in step mode and found a problem in the "With ActiveWindow", the line I deleted was ".NewWindow" (It was Duplicating the Main File), I now DO NOT have the :1, :2 problem. Every thing opens as One File Name side by side

My suggestion is to step thru the macro that is causing the :1, :2 for the problem


2015-06-23 07:31:40

balthamossa2b

"It's not a bug, it's a feature".

The answer for all your coding problems.


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